The grounds of the fall and the key to accepting the ‘mysteries’ of Easter Island was the extensive environmental degradation brought about by deforestation of the entire island. The Moai were extremely significant status to the people who inhabited the island that they opted to cut down all trees in order to erect the statues. Critics suggested that cannibalism occurred on Easter Island following the erection of the Moai, which contributed to ecological degradation when severe deforestation damaged an already unstable ecosystem. Archeological evidence proved that, by the time of the first settlement, the region was home to numerous species of trees, comprising of at least three species that grew up to 60 feet: Paschalococos - perhaps the biggest palm trees on earth at the time, Elaeocarpus rarotongensis and Alphitonia zizyphoides along with at least six types of homeland birds. Also, sometime prior to the coming of Europeans to the island, the Rapa Nui underwent a tremendous turmoil in their social system caused by a shift in their island's ecology (Nova 1). In 1722, by the time of European advent, the island's populace had reduced from 3,000 to 2,000 also from a high of roughly 15,000 only a century ago. During that era, 21 species of trees, as well as all species of land birds, were wiped out through some mixture of over hunting/overharvesting, climate change and rat predation, the region was greatly deforested. The island did not have any trees over 10 feet tall (Nova 1). Destroying of huge trees meant that people were no longer capable of building sea vessels, drastically thinning their fishing capabilities. This was further worsened by the loss of birds along with the fall of the seabird populations. Residents of the Easter Island, by the 18th century, were greatly assisted by farming, with household hens as the main source of protein. This was a factor extremely difficult for the people of the island to overcome, and; thus the massive degradation took place. Information on the shifting ecology of Rapa Nui is being employed to form changes in human value of life. The information is being used to study the danger of societal crumple to which such an agrarian populace (for whom crop growing is the main means of sustenance and support) with restricted space would have been uncovered. Such a case of Easter Island could also occur to the entire earth considering that we are also an "island" in space. It is apparent that Pacific islands varied in capacity to maintain human populations (with island geologic age and size for instance be the key
This paper focuses on the documentary and answers the question why the inhibitors of the area were unable to stop the degradation of their island, as well as whether this can happen to our modern world. A documentary was recently released by the degradation of the island among other factors…
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1 pages (250 words)Admission/Application Essay
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